ColourOfSpring - 2:08 pm on May 12, 2013 (gmt 0)
Small businesses would still continue to build their presences online, at a far slower pace, but their expectations of receiving organic traffic will have to be tempered. Those in the web design and SEO industry will have to put forth a better effort to educate their clients that the "build it and they will come" philosophy does not apply.
turbocharged, I hope you're right (I'll take any crumbs of comfort). I also think the web design / SEO industry is going to be about offering very low cost solutions (because small businesses will have low expectations). A web presence will have to augment something more substantial offline. Still - I think penguin 2.0 is going to decimate these industries (web dev/SEO) in my opinion. Many SMBs will simply give up on a web presence I believe. There's a tipping point where effort expended is far greater than rewards recouped. A smart business knows when to quit.
When Penguin 1.0 rolled out in April 2012, the reaction from web developers / SEO was largely positive : OK, no problem, we will perfect our coversion rates and also seek traffic from elsewhere, and at the same time try to get in the good books of Google. 12 months later, and from ALL of the sources I read (and I read a lot), and from my own clients, there's a mood of defeat in the small-to-medium business sector. All those alternative traffic streams haven't really worked out for most companies. We never did get in the good books of Google. We did improve our conversion rates though - shame there's only a trickle of traffic. It's not just direct feedback I read and what my clients tell me, it's the web design companies who've gone bust that I know about, the URL churn that's REALLY increased in the last 12 months. It's the crazy 301 redirects and website rebrands I've seen - there's been a lot of panicking. Confidence is super-low. I don't think I need to spell it out anymore. I think there's 3 ways this can go:-
1. Penguin 2.0 unleashes hell on SMBs - we go from bad to worse. This would be as close to SMB armageddon as you're going to see. Zero confidence to succeed online without a sisyphean effort and a ton of luck on your side. This is I believe the "tipping point".
2. Penguin 2.0 is actually a roll-out of some "everflux" Penguin - in which case it will probably continue the death by a 1000 cuts many of us have been enduring regardless of our actions.
3. Penguin 2.0 is more forgiving of its predecessor - SMBs start to see a bit of love from Google. Confidence amongst SMBs skyrockets, big brands still get their share of traffic as they've always done. A whole new web opens up to Google searchers that they appreciate - all is right with the world.
Except I just don't see 3) happening. Google's shareholders like the way things have been going since April 2012. Share price is record high, no way they're going to change the direction.